It has been ten weeks since Kathryn announced that Kashyk would be staying on Voyager. To be honest, a part of me was relieved. Not happy for her, exactly. Something like gratitude, mixed with a little jealousy. A smattering of regret.
It has been eight weeks since the first time I saw them eating breakfast together in the mess hall, arms close together on the table. Plates touching. She looked up and saw me watching, smiled, something different in her eyes. Contentment? No. Not quite. I smiled too and nodded, but kept my distance.
It has been seven weeks since the first night I noticed the sounds coming from her quarters. The soundproofing in the wall separating our bedrooms is good, but not perfect. At first, I'll admit, I listened readily. Surprised by how familiar her moaning sounded, aroused by her exuberance. Later I tried not to hear. Tried to stop imagining my own hands crushing her pale breasts, her fingernails scouring my back.
It has been five weeks since Kashyk first smirked at me in the turbolift. Was he suspecting my jealousy? Inviting it? I am coldly polite anyway.
It has been three weeks since I started noticing the bruises. First on her wrist. Later while playing hoverball in her workout clothes, on her forearms, at the base of her neck. Mostly small marks, finger sized. A few larger ones. Noticing the way her eyes flickered away when she noticed me noticing. . .
It has been thirteen days since she came to my quarters at one o'clock in the morning. She sat on the edge of my couch while I waited for her to speak. Instead she kissed me suddenly, roughly. We made love in my armchair, her body rocking violently on my lap, her hands wrapped tightly around my neck. Afterwards, when I ran my hand along her leg, she winced as my fingers pressed into the bruises on her thigh, but she didn't look away. We fucked again, more slowly this time. On the couch, on the floor.
It has been five days since Kashyk glared at me in the turbolift. Whether he knew about Kathryn and I (after all, the soundproofing works - or doesn't work - both ways), and was angry, or intrigued, I don't know. His expression read something like jealousy.
It has been three days since Kathryn and I got drunk together in Sandrine's and talked about everything else except for Kashyk, and us. Until our second bottle of gin and she threw the words out like an accusation.
"I didn't think it would be like this."
I didn't know what to say, so I shook my head.
"Neither did I."
She stared at her drink in silence.
"But there's no reason that things have to stay this way".
She looked up at me, her eyes seemed amused. "It - he - was my decision. He is my decision", she corrected herself.
"Kathryn, you're allowed to change your mind. You could -"
"- leave him?" she finished. "Choose you? Choose myself?"
I watch her carefully as the emotions play over her face, the familiar set of her lips as she comes to a decision.
"Pour me another drink, Chakotay".
Why does he look so righteous while your face is so changed
are you frightened of the box you keep him in?
while his genocide fools and his friends rearrange
their religion of the little ten women
that backs up their views
but your face is so bruised
come on out the dark is beginning
Can you please crawl out your window?
use your arms and legs, it won't ruin you
How can you say he will haunt you?
you can go back to him any time you want to. . .
from "Can you please crawl out your window" (Bob Dylan)
~ Jinny's stories ~ feed the author ~